Advanced Certificate in Communications Planning
Sometimes what is worth knowing can be taught
Knowing how to create and execute an effective media strategy can not only make your client, their brand, and your agency famous, but it can also make you famous.
As a result, the IPA Advanced Certificate in Communications Planning provides you with a comprehensive, high-level, end-to-end understanding of communications strategy planning.
Who is this qualification for?
Anyone involved in developing and planning communication strategies for clients and brands. Its sweet spot is mid-level practitioners with at least four years' experience.
What are the benefits?
- Enhance your understanding of an ever more complex media world and develop skills that will see commercial rewards.
- Understand what you should be evaluating and why and gain access to an online evaluation framework.
- Learn the key stages of developing a successful communication strategy.
- Explore integration models and discuss how you can put them into practice.
- Find out how to maximize the effectiveness of your communication plan through best practice principles.
How is the qualification delivered and assessed?
- An annual intake: 45 hours of online learning, split across five modules, delivered over seven months.
- Candidates must pass an assessment at the end of each module to achieve the Certificate; three essays and two multiple-choice quizzes.
The 2022 Intake Dates
The 2022 intake commences on 30 May 2022.
Measurement & Objectives
Module one will help you understand the importance of measurement - not just for good governance, but as a driver of better work and as a career accelerant. The module is designed to give you some core principles that will help you to scope the needs for evaluation when engaging clients and specialists and will also enable you to be a good critical judge as to whether there’s effective measurement in place or not. Finally, the module helps you understand how measurement needs to impinge on every stakeholder – clients and agency side - and not just the obvious people.
Scrutinising and Building on the Brief
Module two will enable you to constructively challenge a client brief and establish the ‘real’ problem to be solved. You will be able to make the financial case for marketing investment and set an appropriate budget level to achieve a defined level of success. And you will have a clear understanding of the fundamental communication principles that apply across all categories and channels. You’ll then be ready to put these principles into practice and start developing your own communication strategy.
Developing the Strategy
Module three will enable you to take receipt of a client brief and translate it into a communication strategy. It covers areas such as:
- The definition of strategy, its significance, and value – introducing some useful mental models for considering communication strategy.
- The significance of objectives - being clear about objectives and their underlying aspiration opens the door to strategic thinking from the start.
- Strategy and execution are context-dependent, and we will outline sensible areas of focus and methods to employ.
- We'll also look into the age-old question, "What is an insight?" Finally, we shift from divergent to convergent thinking in order to synthesize our insights into the key components of the communication strategy.
Creativity in Media
In Module Four we will examine why creativity drives effectiveness, looking at the evidence from the IPA’s analysis and elsewhere for the business effects of creativity. We will look at: some of the theories that explain why creativity – in all its forms - is so important in communications; the history of creative thinking in advertising; and finally, we will look at creativity in media, citing some of the different ways that creativity can be applied to the discipline with some examples of creative media thinking in action. By the end of this module, you’ll be able to use different jumping-off points for thinking creatively about media based on the specific challenge you are tackling. You will also understand what makes a great media idea and how to assess if you’ve landed on one.
Creating a Communications Plan
Module five covers the key steps to developing a communications plan – the role of media and channel choices. It focuses on the traits every good Comms Plan should have and outlines the details behind three common deliverables: (1) Schematic, (2) The Presentation, and (3) The ‘Ecosystem’; the module also joins the dots on measurement from the comms architecture/ strategy to in-channel metrics. The module also includes checklists for innovation, workshops and briefs, learning agendas, and optimization. The module shows how you can maximize the effectiveness of your communications plan through best practice principles for budget allocation and channel planning and, once a plan goes live, through ongoing analysis and optimization.
Become the strategic communications planning lead for your client’s business with this 6-month online qualification.